For non-rug experts out there, the terminology used to describe rugs can be somewhat confusing. When searching for your next rug, you might notice the term ‘pile’ floating around. We’ve put together all of the information you need to be able to understand rug pile and make your buying journey a doddle.
What is Rug Pile?
Rug pile refers to the density of the rug fibres. This also goes hand in hand with the height of the rug, which is determined by how tall the fibres of the rug are.
Rug pile height is measured from the edge of the surface down to its backing. It tends to be put into three categories, low, medium, and high:
•Low – less than ¼ of an inch in height
•Medium – ¼ to ½ of an inch in height
•High – ½ to ¾ of an inch in height
How Important is Thickness?
The appropriate thickness of a rug largely depends on the placement of it; if you’re searching for a rug to place in an area that has high footfall, a high density rug is best for these areas. The high density is better at withstanding continuous footfall and remaining in good shape.
Equally, a thick pile can provide greater comfort underfoot. If it’s comfort you’re after, these rugs are best. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a rug to place under furniture, such as a table, a low pile will provide a sturdier and flattened surface for the furniture to sit on.
It’s important not to mistake thickness for quality – there are plenty of high-quality rugs that have a low pile. A low pile rug is much easier to care for than a high pile, and also tends to be longer lasting.
Different Types of Rug Pile
There are two types of rug pile, cut and loop. The most common type is cut-pile, which creates a surface that is dense and soft to walk on. These types of rugs are best if you’re looking for comfort and a rug that is likely to be walked on with no shoes, such as in a bedroom.
Loop pile can be seen in rugs that are woven or tufted, and results in a rug that is durable and suitable for areas of high traffic. Loop pile rugs tend to be easier to clean than cut pile, but should be avoided if you have pets, as their claws can get caught in the loops.
Cleaning Tips for a Thick Pile
High pile rugs require a little more maintenance than low pile rugs. Take the time to properly hoover your rug, and check to see if your hoover has a high-pile setting to protect the long rug fibres. Taking the rug outside and giving it a good shake can also help to release any dirt caught up in the fibres. For more information about cleaning different rug types, check out our informative rug cleaning guide.
We have a range of plush rugs that are shaggy and have a long pile to make them wonderfully comfortable underfoot, but we also have a range of modern, traditional, and sheepskin rugs with various different piles.
If you’re still unsure on the right rug for you and your space, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to offer our expertise and find the perfect rug for you!